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FUE vs DHI hair transplant procedures: which is better?

Did you know that two-thirds of men will be affected by male pattern baldness? That’s around 7.4 million men in the UK who are all losing their hair at any one time [1].

Our hair can make a big difference to the way we feel about ourselves, so it’s no surprise that many men decide to get a hair transplant when their hair is starting to thin out significantly.

For many people the process happens quite gradually, if you’re wondering whether you’re thinning or paranoid, you should make an appointment to see if you could benefit from a hair transplant.

If you decide that a hair transplant is a right route for you, there are a few different options that you can choose – which can be pretty overwhelming when they all offer different things and promise a range of varying benefits.

Direct Hair Implantation (DHI) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) are two of the most common hair transplant methods, but there’s a lot of conflicting information out there that can make your decision extremely difficult.

In this article, we’re going to clear the air and tell you everything about the two procedures, the differences between them, and which one will be right for you. Keep reading to find out more about DHI and FUE.

What is FUE?

FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) is a procedure where groups of healthy hair follicles are removed – usually from the back or sides of the head – and reimplanted back into bald or thinning areas of the scalp.

A surgeon will extract hair follicles one by one using an FUE punch trumpet that makes tiny holes to get grafts of skin that contain 1-4 hair follicles. The punch trumpet is usually less than 1mm in diameter to avoid triggering hair transplant trypophobia.

FUE can create an incredibly natural-looking result (see our hair transplant before and after photos) and offers speedy recovery times with minimal scarring.

What is DHI?

Direct hair implantation (DHI) is a newer version of FUE that has recently gained popularity among those worried about their hair loss.

During DHI, a surgeon will use a specialised pen that cuts graphs and reimplants hair follicles at the same time. The process itself is very similar to FUE and patients can enjoy equally short recovery and minimal scarring.

Hair follicles are loaded into an implant device called a Choi Implanter Pen which is extremely sensitive and precise, preventing surgeons from having to manually make the incisions.

What’s the difference between FUE and DHI hair transplants?

The main difference between the two procedures is the method that the hair is extracted and re-implanted. During an FUE transplant, grafts are taken manually by the surgeon, whereas during a DHI transplant, it’s done through a specialised tool.

During DHI, extraction and implanting can happen immediately, without the need for surgeons to create channels for the grafts first.

DHI and FUE transplants are normally among the most preferred as they reduce the scars that FUT hair transplants usually cause – however they are also the two more expensive options.

Because it’s a lot newer, many people will say that DHI is the most advanced and effective option, but there aren’t actually many studies that have proved its superiority over other transplant options – there is still debate about what the most effective transplant method is [2].

Benefits of FUE

  • Impressive, natural results
  • The surgery takes just 1 day to complete
  • Leaves virtually no scarring
  • Recovery is much faster than FUT surgery
  • Covers larger areas than DHI
  • At Wimpole Clinic, our FUE transplants have a 97–100% success rate

Benefits of DHI

  • Extremely precise and accurate as it’s carried out by a machine rather than manually by a surgeon
  • The treatment causes minimal scarring
  • Fast recovery period
  • Can determine the direction and dimension of hair growth
  • The average success rate is around 95%

Which type of hair transplant is better? FUE vs DHI

In most cases, DHI is usually recommended for people under the age of 35. This is because in these patients, hair loss normally isn’t as advanced and the hair patterns are different [3] which means a higher chance of success.

FUE is an effective and safe procedure, but it does carry some minor side effects that DHI doesn’t. The main one is the small white scars that can appear across the scalp in places where follicles were removed.

Many patients may prefer FUE as with DHI, the maximum number of grafts that can be implanted is 4000, whereas the FUE method can cover much larger surface areas. For this reason, DHI is normally preferred to treat smaller, specific sections of hair loss, whereas FUE is better for when there’s more significant balding.

According to the experts, the average success rates of both treatments are around 95%, so whatever procedure you decide is best for you, you can be sure that you’re going to enjoy extremely safe and effective results [5].

Both transplant methods are very good for people who want natural-looking results [4] with minimal scarring. With an FUE transplant, it will take around 6 months to notice the results, and around 12 months before you see the full results.

The recovery times are very similar to DHI treatments, the main difference is that you’ll have full control over the placement of hair and the angle of hair growth so you can create a perfectly natural finish.

Book a consultation

If you’re worried about hair loss or balding and need professional advice, why not speak to one of our professional surgeons at Wimpole Clinic.

We can help you determine the best treatment options for your needs, and make the process as smooth as possible.

Start off with one of our no-obligation consultations where you can speak with the experts and figure out whether you should go down the hair transplant process or not.

Book your free consultation with Wimpole Clinic today.

References:
[1] https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/hair-loss-faqs
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371731
[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30277939/
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956961/
[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20300332/

The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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